Police investigating the death of ice hockey star Adam Johnson have issued an update.
The 29-year-old Nottingham Panthers player died after his throat was slashed by a blade in a clash with opponent Matt Petgrave during a match on October 28 last year.
One month after Johnson’s death following the game against Sheffield Steelers at Utilita Arena, a man, 29, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
He has now been re-bailed while a probe into the freak incident continues.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said today: ‘A man who was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the death of ice hockey player Adam Johnson in Sheffield has been rebailed.
‘On November 14, a man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and later bailed. Today, he has been rebailed until April 25, 2024.’
‘Our investigation is ongoing and our thoughts remain with Adam’s family at this time. If there is any update on the progress of the investigation ahead of the new bail expiration date, this will be issued proactively.’
Footage showed Petgrave getting knocked off balance before his leg flung into the air and caught Johnson.
Around 8,000 fans were watching on as he suffered the injury and attempted to skate to the bench while bleeding out before collapsing on the ice.
Players on both sides formed a ring around Johnson, who previously played for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the US, as emergency treatment was carried out.
Paramedics rushed Johnson to Northern General Hospital but he could not be saved and a post-mortem examination confirmed he died as a result of a neck injury.
An inquest into his death previously heard that his partner Ryan Wolfe identified his body but the hearing was suspended while the police inquiry took its course.
Sheffield’s senior coroner, Tanyka Rawden issued a prevention of future deaths report to Ice Hockey UK and the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) about the use of neck guards in the sport.
Ms Rawden said she is ‘sufficiently concerned that deaths may occur in the future if neck guards or protectors are not worn’.
Both governing bodies were given 56 days to say what action has been taken – or why action has not been taken.
Neck guards have been mandatory in the Elite League (EIHL), in which the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers compete, since January 1.
This followed the International Ice Hockey Federation’s decision in December to mandate the use of neck laceration protectors for its competitions.
‘His grandmother [Johnson’s grandmother] told me that he had shown her the ring before he left and he was going to propose at some point,’ Scott Pionk, whose son played college hockey with Johnson, said at the time.
The couple had been together for more than a year and it’s claimed Johnson, who is from the US, bought the ring before they moved to the UK for his ice hockey career.
Wolfe described Johnson as her ‘everything’ when she gave a tear-jerking eulogy at his funeral in Minnesota in November last year.
‘You’ve been so amazingly supportive and kind to me since the day we met,’ she said.
‘And I couldn’t have been more grateful for it. I always thought that maybe if I was lucky enough, after a lifetime together, that I might start to be more like you.
‘You’re such a special person, you have the best sense of humor, the biggest heart, the quickest wit and the kindest soul. You’re unbelievably loyal, dedicated and smart. You’re so, so smart.
‘Whether it came to school or life in general, you just seem to have it all figured out, which gave me so much peace and comfort, and made me feel like we could do anything, or be anything, and we’d be OK. We’d be happy.’
The pair had dreamed of running a farm together later in life and Wolfe said: ‘I just hope in heaven they let you have your farm, and all the cows and chickens your little heart desires.’
She rounded off the speech by telling mourners: ‘You were my home, my best friend, my sounding board, my rock, my safe haven and the love of my life.
‘I’m never gonna stop thinking about you, missing you and loving you until we can be together again. Love you.’
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